Video Production FAQS For Business and Industry and the Internet

Video production is an effective tool for producing more sales, training employees, and telling the world about products and services. Video presentations can be shown to large groups and be viewed privately by one person. Television is the number one source of information for most people in North American and Europe. Business and Industry has been using industrial films and videos for years. As production costs have dropped, video production has become even more widely used for small businesses. Small businesses can use video to improve their bottom line, but before launching a video production, a little knowledge will help in the overall process and help achieve an effective and useful video presentation.

Here are some frequently asked questions concerning business/industrial video production. Good luck on your video project.

Q. Can we use people from our own company in the video to save talent fees?

A. Talent fees are the key words, here. Generally professional actors are used for voice over and on-screen word. They do a great job. They learn their parts. They can cope with script changes and the many re-takes of scenes. Best of all, however, is that they come across well on the TV screen. In short they have talent. If you need to trim your budget, there are better ways. A good production company can work within most budgets without sacrificing the effectiveness of a production. Using non-professional talent is a risk.

Q. Can’t we have our people in the video at all?

A. Sure. Company people are excellent in video presentations. They are great to have interacting with each other and with clients. Company people can be videotaped for voice over commentary and short sound bites.

Q. Our head salesperson is used to giving presentations on our product all the time. He’s a natural. He’s friendly and people really like him and identify with him. Plus, he knows the product backwards and forwards. Shouldn’t he be the one talking about our product on our video?

A. Sometimes company people can do a good job, especially experts like yours, and we’ve used them in our video productions. One word of caution, however. We’ve seen video productions get shelved soon after they were produced because the spokesperson on the video decided to quit and go to work for the competition. You can’t have your spokesperson (especially, if they’re well-known) saying good things about your product if they are no longer part of your organization. The appearance is that they found a better product or a better company to work for. If companies continue using a video tape with a turn-coat expert, it appears that the video tape is marketing the competition’s product. That’s not good.

Q. How about having our CEO or one of our top managers appear on-camera? Is there anything they can do to come across as professional as possible?

A. Yes, CEOs and top managers are excellent choices for corporate videos. They should be prepared for the shoot with several choices of wardrobe. They should also have their lines memorized. They should review a list of tips and suggestions for looking good on-camera.

Q. Can we shoot our own footage and then have a professional video production company edit the footage?

A. Yes, especially if you have competent people in your organization. We recommend that you read the book, Producing a First-Class Video For Your Business – Work With Professionals or Do It Yourself before you attempt this, however. We’d be happy to consult with you and assist in your production in, anyway. Our book is available at many fine book stores across Canada and the United States. Especially if the book store has a Self-Counsel Press display. Check with your favorite library, as well.

Q. We have some existing footage of our product in the field. It looks really good. It’s on VHS format video tape. Can we use that in the production.

A. We pride ourselves on our ability to incorporate many different types of media into our production. VHS video footage, while it is the lowest resolution format, could be digitized and edited. Results vary. Production companies using digital non-linear formats, could probably handle your request very well, also.

Q. How disruptive is a video production?

A. Full-production, Hollywood-style crews can be disruptive, it’s true. We like to keep crews to a minimum. Sometimes we only use a one-person or two-person crew. This is not only less disruptive, but it also saves money. With new lower-light cameras, the need for the bright lights of Hollywood have gone a little by the wayside.

Q. How long does it take to produce a video?

A. In depends on the complexity, but generally about a month. Video production companies are used to working with deadlines. We’ve done many quick turn-around presentations. We burn the midnight oil for our clients. Visit the PNW Video Production site for a more detailed break down (week by week) of pre-production, production and post-production needs.

Q. What’s the most economical video to produce?

A. A voice/over type is the least expensive. A good, professional voice is essential for the voice over. The more expensive video type is interactive/acting on-camera. This type of production can sometimes double a budget, but produces very effective presentations.

Q. How do we find actors?

A. Most production companies know actors. We have a selection of professional and semi-professional actors to work with. Video tapes and audio tapes (or Reels) are commonly available for review.

Q. Should we ask for a sample tape to look at?

A. Sure. Professional video production companies should either have their own sales & marketing tape (they’re in the business!) or copies of productions that are similar to your project.

What we like to do is talk about the production and budget first. Then we show samples of productions within a selected budget. It doesn’t do our clients any good to show them a champagne budget video, if they’ll be working on a beer budget. The reverse is true, also.

Q. Professional video production companies would have to fly into our location. Wouldn’t it be cheaper for us to hire a local production company?

A. Sometimes. There are many good production companies throughout the world. Even in small communities. There’s a difference, however, in video production and business/industrial video production. There’s no magic in producing a good looking video. What’s more difficult is producing a video that sells a product, service, or viewpoint.

Q. What does a video cost?

A. There are many factors. The usual figure given in the industry is $1,000 to $1,500 hundred per finished minute for quality productions. Many Betacam-SP productions run about $3,000 per finished minute.

Q. We only have a small budget. Is there anything we can do to help cut costs?

A. Certainly. Please, tell the video production company up-front what kind of budget you have in mind. The production can be tailored for your needs and requirements. There are many ways to make video productions more economical. We’re experts in trimming costs.

Q. What video format are used in industrial/business video production?

A. It depends on the budget. There are a wide variety of video formats used by industrial video production companies. VHS is the lowest resolution. Betacam-SP is one of the highest. There are many formats in-between.

Sometimes we shoot on Betacam-SP, a high-resolution broadcast standard. Most often these days, however, video camcorders are recorded in digital format, so the information can be easily transferred to editing computers.

Q. Can you put our completed production on DVD, or CD-ROM for distribution and the internet?

A. We like to know exactly how you intend to use your production. But, no matter how you are distributing, we will use the best format for your video.

Q. What’s the first step? What do we do?

A. Take a few minutes to think about your project and your needs. To produce a video a good industrial video production company will need to know a few things about your company and the presentation.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

1. In what setting will the video be shown?

2. Who will be watching the video?

3. What is the purpose of the video?

4. What do you want people to do when they’re through viewing the video?

5. What do you want people to remember about the video?

6. How many poeple are going to view your video?

7. How are you going to distribute the video?

Write your information down and share it with other people in your company to get their responses.